The Ordinary is a brand under the DECIEM umbrella that exploded onto the skincare scene in 2016. Its range of skincare is based on no-frills functional skincare products at low prices. The brand eschews unnecessary packaging and fancy-sounding exotic ingredients for active ingredients that are actually proven to work, such as retinol, vitamin c, and hyaluronic acid etc. In fact, I had actually bought a few of their serums to try back in January 2017 but honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with the products. I couldn’t actually see much improvement in my skin from those particular serums that I had bought and I didn’t buy any other serums from them since then.

* For reference, I bought their Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Advanced Retinoid 2%, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, and 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil. *

However, in March 2017, The Ordinary introduced a product that made me stood up and take notice of them again – The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. It’s reportedly a dupe for the famous Drunk Elephant Babyfacial with almost the same percentage of active ingredients (FYI Babyfacial contains 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend). At that time, I was curious about Babyfacial and wanted to try it but Drunk Elephant wasn’t easily available in Singapore and it does cost a pretty penny (US$ 80!). Therefore, I settled for The Ordinary’s product instead.   

Before we continue further with the review, let’s just check out its ingredients, shall we?


Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

How does The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution fare?

Right off the bat, I must tell you that the colour of this peeling mask freaks me out! I kept feeling that it will be a very strong acidic product due to its colour. Even though I’m an experienced acid user (LOL.. Not that kind..), I was still quite apprehensive about using it. The first time I tried this product, I used just one pipette full of product and timed its length of masking for exactly 10 minutes as directed on its packaging. While I had the peel on, I low-key felt like Countess Elizabeth Bathory – a 16th century Hungarian countess who bathed in the blood of at least 650 servant girls she had tortured and killed in order to stay #foreveryoung.


Portrait of the Blood Countess herself!

Anyway, I did experience some stinging sensation while I had it on my face but it wasn’t severe or irritating enough to be a concern for me. When I rinsed this peel off after 10 minutes, I looked into the mirror and my skin was slightly flushed but it was not super red or inflamed. I continued with my skincare routine by layering my hydrating mist, hydrating essence and hydrating serum and finally my trusted Stratia Liquid Gold (Full review here) with a few drops of my facial oil before going to bed. I didn’t use any other actives in my skincare routine after using this product because I didn’t want to risk compromising my skin’s moisture barrier and cause either massive peeling or inflammation.

Just a pipette-full of product is enough for my whole face!

When I woke up the next morning, I was shocked! I noticed that a very stubborn pimple (the kind with no head and therefore cannot be squeezed out since there’s no outlet for the goo to come out) came to a head. Some clogged pores on the side of my forehead came loose and I was able to wash them off gently in the morning using just my normal cleanser. My skin just looks very clear and even overall. I was impressed indeed! After using this product for around 3 months, I find it to be excellent for clearing congestion of any kind and really helps to refine my skin’s texture. It is also particularly useful for clearing acne that reside deep within your skin and are hard to uproot. The AHAs in this product would exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface and sort of “clear” the path for the BHA to go deeper within the pore and dissolve the “gunk” in the pore.

Note that I only use this product once a week as I’m also using other acid toners and actives the rest of the time. I must also caution you not to use this product on broken skin (cause it will hurt like a b*tch! trust me!) or when your skin’s barrier is compromised (never use it on sun-burnt, peeling skin). Also, if your skin is particularly reactive, I would advise you to patch test it first. When you use this product for the first time, I would suggest that you could either reduce the amount that you use (maybe half a pipette-full instead of a whole pipette-full?) or reduce the time your skin is in contact with the product (maybe use it for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes?). I must also emphasise that you use a sunscreen everyday as the AHAs in the product will make you more sun-sensitive.

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from ASOS Online. It retails at £6.50 (30ml sized).

You can also purchase it from their official website. It retails at US$ 12.30.

Thank you for reading!

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